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Awbridge Primary School


Our Governors

What is a School Governor?

School governors are volunteers who work with school leaders to ensure high standards of education. Some are elected (staff and parent governors) and others are appointed  from the local community.

From December 2020 when we became part of The University of Winchester Academy Trust (UWinAT), our governing body became a Local Academy Committee, working alongside our Trustees who have overall responsibility for our five schools. This means that our governors focus solely on Awbridge, but the school benefits from excellent support and advice of trustees.

Wellow and Awbridge Primary Schools share a joint Local Academy Committee who work together to support and challenge each school through clear roles and responsibilities. Governors take a keen interest in the life of the school and support staff to raise standards through strong strategic leadership.


What do governors do?

School governors have a wide range of responsibilities, helping to raise standards of pupil achievement and planning the school’s future direction, always in consultation with the school leaders and other staff. We are also accountable for the performance of the school to parents and the wider community. We are not expected to take detailed decisions about the day-to-day management of the school: that is the job of the school leaders.


Governors’ responsibilities include:

  • Helping to establish the aims and policies of the school and how standards of education can be constantly improved
  • Ensuring that a broad and balanced curriculum is delivered and that it meets statutory requirements, while promoting high standards and monitoring progress during the year
  • Appointing, challenging and supporting school leaders (being a ‘critical friend’)
  • Acting as a link between the local community and the school
  • Helping to set and manage the school budget
  • Ensuring the health and safety of pupils and staff


At Awbridge Primary School we do this on several levels. We meet as a Local Academy Committee about six times a year.


Individual governors are also linked with a particular area, such as Special Educational Needs, Safeguarding, or a curriculum. This ensures that Governors ‘know their School’ and are able to challenge the school to achieve the very best outcomes for children.

All governors are encouraged to visit the school during the working day if they can, but we do not interfere in the day-to-day teaching or running of the school: we leave that to the professionals!


Hampshire Governor Services and the National Governors Association provide training in all aspects of governors’ responsibilities and we take full advantage of that, in order to be as effective as possible.


Please find below details of how our Governing Body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor:




Term From  

Term To


Sam Woods Chair of Governors



17.03.25 Vice Chair

Roger Savage (Vice-chair of Governors) 






Well-being Support         

Ruth Easton  





Phil Le Gros





Mark Davis 




Health and Safety


Riana Arshad Parent  11.11.21 10.11.25 Development and Training

Jonathan de Susmarez


Co-Ordinator to the Trust 




Co-Ordinator to the Trust 

Beth Larcombe 





Laura Ackland




Staff Liaison

Helen Wheelwright 





Jane Mundy

Trust Clerk



Trust Clerk


Who's Who?


Chair of Governors - Sam Woods - Co-opted

Sam lives in West Wellow and became a co-opted governor in February 2021. In September 2023 he took over the roll as Chair. 

His eldest son currently attends Wellow School. Sam is a Chemical Engineer working in the Oil Industry and has always had an interest in becoming a governor and supporting children’s education. He is keen to provide support to the schools of Wellow and Awbridge in their continuous development and improvement utilising his skills from his career to support this. Sam has specific responsibility for communication and marketing as well as governor training. 







Vice-Chair of Governors - Roger Savage 

Roger Savage started as a parent governor over 20 years ago and is now a co opted governor and has been the Chair of Governors for the past 10 years. Roger created and runs a business near Romsey and is able to bring some of the experiences learned to that of school governance. A believer in giving every child the best opportunities that the schools can give and in particular looking beyond academic disciplines towards life experiences and skills that are so important for our children growing up in the complex and ever demanding world today.. 






Staff Governor - Laura Ackland

Laura became a staff governor in April 2023. She has been teaching for 12 years and has been a member of staff at Awbridge for the last 7 years having previously worked at Wellow. Laura is the English and Computing Leader at Awbridge and enjoys sharing new books and technologies to enhance our curriculum. She completed the National Professional Qualification in Leading Professional Development in 2022 and hopes to use the skills she has learnt to support her roles both within school and as a governor.


Chris Stephens - Co-opted

Chris began living in East Wellow two years ago and became a governor in January 2024. Prior to this, Chris has had a long standing connection with the community of Wellow, his wife grew up in the village and attended Wellow School herself. Chris is currently Deputy Headteacher for the Quality of Education at The Romsey School and has held numerous other roles within education including being a Head of Mathematics for 10 years, a Professional Development Lead with the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) and a Leading Mathematics Teacher with Hampshire County Council. He brings vast knowledge and experience of education and curriculum development through his role at Secondary Education level and has completed a Masters in Education at The University of Southampton. Chris is excited to explore Early Years and Primary curriculum through his work as a governor and is looking forward to working with staff, pupils and the community in which he lives.  You might occasionally spot Chris out in either Awbridge or Wellow whilst he’s out on one of his runs or walking his dog.



Designated Safeguarding Governor - Ruth Easton

Ruth was only appointed to the Academy Committee as a co-opted member in 2017 but has lived in West Wellow since 1993 and her daughter attended Wellow Primary School in the 1990s. She retired from full time teaching in 2015 after serving Hampshire County Council as a junior school teacher for 35 years. The majority of her career was spent in upper key stage 2, so she has a strong understanding of the expectations for this age group. She is keen to see all children achieve their potential by engaging in an exciting and broad curriculum. Previously, Ruth has served as a staff governor for 8 years in a junior school near Totton.



Mark Davis – Parent Governor
Mark has been a school Governor since February 2018, a Chartered Surveyor by profession, Mark runs a local surveying practice based in Winchester. Mark has a keen interest in ensuring the all children are given the best possible start and support in the formative years of education. Having lived locally within Romsey all his life and with both of his boys currently attending Awbridge school, he is keen to ensure the continued development of the schools. Bringing experience of running his own business for the past 15 years and ensuring that where possible he can support the school, staff and most importantly the pupils.




Helen Wheelwright - Co-opted 

Helen lives in East Dean and became a governor in February 2021. She has taught French and German in a number of schools in Hampshire since 1987 and her daughter attended Awbridge Primary School. Now retired, Helen would like to support the primary schools in Awbridge and Wellow, the children who attend the schools and all who work there. Helen has specific responsibility for SEND. 







Phil Le Gros - Parent Governor

Phil lives in Awbridge and joined as a Governor in April 2023. Bringing experience from his varied career in the IT sector, including working abroad and supporting mental health initiatives, he sees Awbridge and Wellow schools as critical parts of the community, and believes every child deserves the best opportunities that the schools can provide. Passionate about inclusion and developing life experiences which complement academic school life, Phil wants to ensure the schools help children to discover passions that will stay with them for life. 



Rianna Arshad - Parent Governor 

Rianna was elected as a parent governor in November 2021 and has 3 children currently attending Wellow Primary School. The family have lived in the village for nearly 4 years.

When not being a Mum, Rianna works as a Doctor in the Children’s A and E at Southampton General Hospital. This gives her a unique insight into how health and education impact each other. Shehas also been part of improvement projects within the NHS and hopes to use these skills as a governor.

Rianna will act as the governor link for the Creative Collaborative with the Art’s Council over the next 3 years. 



Awbridge & Wellow Governor Details and Register of Interests

Governor Application Form

Register of Pecuniary Interests 2023-24

Governor Attendance 2022/23

Governor Attendance 2021/22

Governor Attendance 2020/21

Governor Attendance 2019/20

Our Academy Trust


The University of Winchester Academy Trust Governance Structure